ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH 45817
June 20, 2021
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Rev. Katherine Beckett (567-226-1009) Church (419-358-5641)
No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!
Prelude “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” arr. Dale Wood
*Song of Preparation “Come, Thou Fount…” P. 68
*Call to Worship (based on Psalm 51:1-10)
One: O Holy God, how great you are! On the first day of the week, we commemorate your creation of the world and all that is.
Many: Holy God, send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
One: O Holy God, how great you are! On the first day of the week, we commemorate the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, from the dead.
Many: Holy God, create in us a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within us.
One: O Holy God, how great you are!
Many: On the first day of the week, we celebrate in song the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church and throughout the whole world. Amen.
*Prayer of Thanksgiving
Covenant God, we push you away, but you never let go. We turn away from you and even try to run away from you. But you never let us go. Hold us tight, almighty God. Embrace us with your never-ending love. Never let us go. Amen.
*Hymn “Softly and Tenderly” P. 348
Time with the Children
Prayer for Illumination
Holy God, help us to hear your holy word that we may truly
understand; that in understanding we may believe; and
believing, we may truly live in faithfulness and obedience,
seeking your honor and glory in all that we do. Through Christ
our Lord, Amen.
Hebrew Testament Reading Exodus 32:7-14
Epistle Reading 1 Timothy 1:12-17
Gospel Reading Luke 15:1-10
One: Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Many: Thanks be to God!
Sermon The Heart of the Gospel Rev. Katherine Beckett
*Hymn “Amazing Grace” P. 422
(1, 2, 4, 5)
*Litany For Lost and Found+
One: Loving God, finder of lost sheep,
Many: Friend to sinners and rejects;
One: We look to your son, Jesus
Many: The embodiment of perfect Love.
One: We confess that we have been so preoccupied
with the ninety-nine
Many: That we have overlooked the one.
One: We confess that we have judged and marginalized,
pushed to the fringes
Many: Those beloveds whom society has rejected.
One: If we have been the one rejected or lost,
Many: Help us to forgive the ninety-nine.
One: If we have rejected our own selves, or deemed ourselves
unworthy of your attention,
Many: Let your love find us.
One: If we, in our pain, have been resistant to your love,
blaming you for our rejection,
Many: Open our eyes to the truth of your welcome.
One: Grant us now hearts of compassionate mercy,
Many: Full of lovingkindness.
One: May we go out into the world, offering hope,
offering mercy, offering love,
Many: Offering an invitation to a joyful feast:
The Kingdom of God, open to all.
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
*Closing Hymn “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us P. 440
(1, 3, 4)
*Postlude “There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy” arr. Gerald Peterson
*Please stand if you are able.
+Written by Rev. Fran Pratt, Pastor at Peace of Christ Church
in Round Rock, TX
Welcome to worship at St. John’s! We wish a blessed Father’s Day to the dads and father figures among us, and a blessed Sabbath day to all!
Flowers this morning are provided by Nancy and Ed Yeager in honor of fathers Mac Davies and Mark Koch; in memory of Roy Young, Fred Swank, Harold Young, Albert Hansen, and Elmer Yeager, and in honor of Ed Yeager.
Wednesday, June 30, 6 p.m., you are invited to come, just as you are, to taste and see if circle writing is for you. The gathering takes place in the gazebo at the Bluffton Presbyterian Church. Circle will begin at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 8:30 p.m. Bring a chair, notebook, and writing instrument. Circle is hosted by Rev. Katherine Beckett and Corrie Reed, graduates of the Wellstreams Program for Spiritual Formation and the Art of Spiritual Direction. To register, contact Pastor Katherine. Cost for this event is $10.00. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held at St. John’s UCC in Oppermann Hall.
Everyone is invited to attend the gazebo dedication on the lawn at the Bluffton Presbyterian Church on Saturday, June 26, at 12 noon. The rain date is Sunday, June 27. Please bring a lawn chair. Music will be provided by The Dave Sycks Bluffton Brass Quintet.